The past year has been a whopper, to say the least. With it, brought about a lot of uncertainty in not only our personal but our professional lives as well. 

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we can never be too prepared. We’ve gathered a list of the Five Top Marketing Trends marketers and businesses should look out for and incorporate into their 2021 strategy.

Ready to discover what those are? Let’s dive in.

1. As Digital Advertising Increases, So Does the Importance of Consumer Privacy 

The pandemic has accelerated a major shift toward digital marketing. Digital advertising is expected to account for more than half (51%) of total global ad spend, making this year the first year digital ad spend is higher than traditional ad spending.

This increase in digital ad spend and consumer targeting emphasizes the growing importance of consumer privacy. 

75% of European consumers want relevant advertising. Targeted advertisements are on average almost twice as effective as non-targeted ads. However, despite the popularity and positive impact of targeted ads, many consumers see targeted ads as an invasion of privacy.

It is paramount for businesses to partner with a first-party data provider that is transparent and honest with their users about how they use data.

2. Connected TV/OTT is Taking Over

At the start of this year, approximately 48.3 million people switched over to CTV only in their households, a significant increase from 2016’s 26.9 million. 

Nationwide, the consumption habits of viewers continue to shift as a majority of cable/satellite subscribers ‘cut the cord’ and switch primarily to CTV.  This presents new opportunities for advertisers and businesses to reach their next customer. 

The most recent opportunity on CTV/OTT is in the Political sphere. Political incumbents have a large opportunity to target potential voters within their constituency with their campaign messages. 70% of persuadable voters have stated having at least one ad-streaming service in their homes and 76% of cord-cutters reported that they stream more ad-streaming video-on-demand content now more than ever. This opens new doors to politicians to reach a wider audience of persuadable voters that they weren’t able to reach in prior elections. 

3. TikTok Continues to Rise

In 2020 TikTok went mainstream and marketing leaders began taking a serious interest in the social media app. Currently standing as one of the most popular social media platforms with over 800 million active users globally and over 100 million active users in the US, TikTok has proven that it’s here to stay. 

TikTok is continuing to take the world by storm. There were 315 million downloads for TikTok during the first three months of this year, the highest number of downloads an app has ever received in a given quarter! 

TikTok has given businesses both small and large new ways to increase their brand awareness and drive sales for their products and services. In 2021, we will see less risk-averse brands try their hand at TikTok marketing. For a successful ad campaign, businesses should place a special focus on storytelling, virality, and entertainment.

4. Email Isn’t Dead. It’s Booming.

Email has long been the primary method of communication between businesses and their customers. The pandemic strengthened the importance of email tenfold. Email is a useful tool that is used both in our personal and professional lives. Email is expected to increase annually at an average rate of 4.4% over the next four years.  This means that it will reach over 376 billion users by the end of 2025

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to engage directly with your target audience and track real-time data with open, click-through, and conversion rates in order to optimize your campaign. With 99% of online consumers checking their email every day, it’s vital for marketers to stay on top of email marketing trends. 

Marketers use email to create deeper connections with their customers, increase sales, and push consumers to new calls to action such as click and collect一buying items online and pick up in-store. 

Additionally, 4 out of 5 individuals in the U.S. will use email monthly, making email a highly valuable tool for marketers. During times of crisis, 40% of consumers prefer email as the channel brands used to communicate with them.

5. Social eCommerce is Growing 

Stay-at-home orders around the world forced many consumers to turn to online shopping for everyday essentials and necessities, such as groceries and prescription medications. Due to this, the coronavirus has accelerated digital shopping by five years! 

A large portion of online shoppers turn to social media to help them discover and purchase products. Social media users have become increasingly more comfortable with utilizing social media platforms for purchasing and evaluating products that they find online. 

87% of eCommerce shoppers believe that social media helps them when it comes to their purchasing decisions. Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are a few examples of social media platforms that are expanding their e-commerce capabilities. Another big player is TikTok, which allows its users to add links to their profile bio and/or videos with their “Shop Now” feature. This feature allows users to purchase products directly through the links posted on the app.

This year, you can expect to see social media platforms introduce new features which encourages users to shop directly on their platforms. If your brand is not advertising on any social media platform, it is extremely important to acknowledge that mobile-first shopping is an experience that online shoppers are adopting more and more. Having a mobile-friendly website is essential to driving online traffic. 

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It’s never too early or too late to start preparing your marketing strategy for the rest of this year into next. Contact us here to get started.

Isabella Aslarona

Author Isabella Aslarona

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